Anmore Community Hub
The Anmore Community Hub will provide our community with a new Village Hall – including Council Chambers and administration space – combined with community amenity space. The Hub is designated as the Emergency Operations Centre and will also be available as a Reception Centre for evacuees if needed.
Project Status Update
The detailed design for the Anmore Community Hub was completed in the spring and included working with the architect to reduce the size by 998 sq ft of finished space – primarily from the community room. This was done to keep the construction costs in line with the approved budget, as staying within budget is a priority for Council. These adjustments were made after completing a value engineering process, which involved reviewing the design in the context of the construction market at this time. This involved working with the architects, structural engineers and other experts in construction.
In August, the bid process for construction was completed. Bid packages were sent to a shortlist of eight pre-qualified contractors. Unfortunately, only four bids were received, and they were higher than anticipated, despite going through the value-engineering process. Our understanding is that this is partly due to the higher cost of materials like lumber due to COVID-19 and a highly competitive construction market.
Council remains committed to staying on budget for this project, so the Village is working through options for how we can make further adjustments to reduce costs. We plan to have an update on this project for our community this fall.
Open House Presentation Highlights
The second open house was held on November 2, 2020 and six groups attended. The Open House covered the following topics:
- The site plan provides information on the position of the building and outlines outdoor opportunities for community access.
- Entry and public washroom design are highlighted in more detail.
- The community room configurations are featured, noting how different uses could be accommodated.
- The form and function of the building are featured using 3D imagery.
- The project schedule and next steps are outlined with the key milestones, including the development of working drawings, tender process and construction.
- The financial funding plan – as outlined below – is noted, along with some financial information on the Spirit Park Enhancements and Ravenswood Road Realignment costs – which are projects that are not required for the construction of the Village Hall but are in the area.
To view the presentation boards, please click HERE.
Council Approves The Hub Funding Plan
The Village aims to offset construction costs for the Anmore Community Hub through a mix of grant funding and developer contributions. The funding plan for the project includes:
- an application for $2.5 million in federal/provincial grants*;
- $845,000 from developer contributions;
- $125,000 from secured provincial grants;
- $2,030,000 from and capital reserves; and
- $2.5 million through long-term debt through the Municipal Finance Authority.
*Grant decisions will not be confirmed until fall 2021.
Community Hub Design – Community Input
Anmore Council approved the design of the Anmore Community Hub with a number of changes to reflect the input from residents during the recent community engagement.
At the Sept 1, 2020 Council meeting, the detailed design was approved with the following changes:
- Rough in a commercial kitchen adjacent to the Community Hall
- Add a veranda to wrap around the Community Hall to the south
- Add a second serving space for future use – such as for a small coffee shop
- Finish the basement to the north for future development
Council also set the budget at a total of $8 million, which includes approximately 15% as a contingency ($6.85 million estimated for construction plus $1.15 million in contingency). As well, to help offset costs for the project, staff have been directed to apply for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program with the goal to secure federal and provincial grants.
The approved changes to the design and budget for the project reflect responses to questions about the proposed design that were shared by the community via a survey and open houses. The following is a summary of responses to some of the key questions related to the building design:
- Entry area: Of 92 responses, 54 selected the neutral/middle range, 18 selected the upper range (increase the size) and 20 indicated the lower range (decrease the size)
- Community room: Of 90 responses, 65 indicated the room is adequate as designed (neutral/middle range), 27 felt the size should be increased and 8 felt it should be reduced. In the open-ended question about additions or changes to the Community Room, of the 69 responses regarding a range of uses and other feedback, 16 indicated that the room and/or project in general is too large. Interest in a food service area was another consistent comment.
- Boardroom: Of 126 responses, 85 selected the neutral/middle range, 13 selected the lower range (boardroom is too small) and 28 selected the upper range (boardroom is too large).
- Basement space: Of the 89 responses about completing the basement space, 32 respondents indicated strong support, 19 were in the middle range and 38 opposed.
- Development of exterior spaces: 77% of respondents indicated this was important, with more than 50% of respondents rating this as either extremely important of very important, and 27% indicating it was somewhat important
There were also a number of responses to the open-ended request for general feedback that included concerns about the cost of the building. Council shares these concerns and has committed to working within the approved budget – and to offset costs through grants if possible. During the consultation process, Council was working with an estimated cost $6-$10 million for the project. With detailed design information now available, the project cost is estimated at the lower end of this initial estimate: $6.85 million plus $1.15 million in contingency. Future changes to the design may occur based on the budget.
The Anmore Community Hub Public Consultation Report summarizing the feedback from the first round of community engagement is available HERE. Please note that personal information shared in the comments has been removed to protect privacy.
A bit of background…
The Village of Anmore needs an administrative building as the temporary trailers currently being used are not a viable long-term solution for administrative office space. These trailers are also not designed to survive a significant natural disaster, which is a risk for the community as the Village Hall operates as the Emergency Operations Centre. As well, the trailers cannot act as a Reception Centre for evacuated residents. The Village was aware that the Old Village Hall needed to be replaced long before it was closed in 2012. Not only was the family home never designed to accommodate offices and public-facing service desks, there were also significant safety concerns due to deteriorating infrastructure.
Recognizing that this project is a major initiative for the community – and that buildings like these are designed to meet both current and long-term needs in the community – the Village brought in community planning and building design experts to gain insight into how to best leverage the project to benefit the Anmore community. The following key steps have guided the project development:
- A 2014 Feasibility Study by CitySpaces, planning consultants, noted that Anmore does not currently have community meetings space and residents generally have to rent space in other cities for their events. The report recommended that …
- In 2017, HCMA Architects expanded on the initial Feasibility Study and recommended…
- Council’s 2019-2022 Strategic Plan identified the Village Centre as a priority project
Based on these assessments and recommendations, the Civic Building project – newly named the Anmore Community Hub – has been progressing through the protocols for planning a major capital project, including financial assessments, Council and Committee progress reports and community engagement (See Project Milestones).
In December 2019, the Village awarded the Detailed Design contract for the new Civic Building to Johnston Davidson Architecture.
Work will begin early in the New Year on the detailed design, which will be based on the Concept Design developed by staff and
Anmore Council. The concept design includes the space requirements and general layout for the desired function of the new
community building. You can now view the full report HERE.
The following are some of the project milestones completed and planned for the Anmore Community Hub:
- Council awarded the detailed design for the Civic Building at the Regular Council meeting on December 16, 2019
- Council received information about funding options at the July 22, 2019 Finance Committee meeting
- Council directed staff to proceed with the detailed design of the Civic Building at a Special Council meeting on July 22, 2019 for a project budget of $750,000
- Council identified the construction of a Civic Building as part of their 2019-2022 Council Strategic Plan (adopted at Regular Council meeting May 21, 2019)
- Council adopted the Village Centre Site Development plan (which included a new civic building as part of the plan) at a Regular Council meeting held on February 20, 2018
- The Village held a Site Development Plan Open House on January 23, 2018
- Open houses for detailed design concept took place June 11 and June 17 (in person), and June 24 (online) with community survey that ran from June 9 to July 7.
- Council reviewed feedback from Open Houses and community survey and approved changes to the detailed design in August/September 2020.
- Second phase of community engagement to provide updated design planned for Fall 2020